Legalize Marijuana, End Budget Crisis
The government has several reasons to legalize marijuana now. The costs associated with marijuana for the government are huge. A study by Jeffery Miron, a professor at Harvard, said that legalizing marijuana would save the government $7.7 billion a year. Second, legalized marijuana would bring in a large amount of tax revenue. Miron estimated that it would bring in $6.2 billion if it were taxed at the rates of alcohol and tobacco. Next, many studies agree that marijuana is actually safer than alcohol and tobacco. It doesn’t really make sense for marijuana to be illegal while alcohol and tobacco are sitting on shelves in the store. Finally, the prohibition of alcohol should have taught us something. Making it illegal made it much less safe and only served to make organized crime rich. Illegal marijuana is making our government broke and drug dealers rich.
Right now many states including the one I live in, Tennessee, are having huge budget shortfalls due to the recession. These states have been forced to cut jobs and hours. Some states, like California, are in huge trouble. They are actually shutting down the government for 2 days a month right now to save money. That means less hours for the workers, and inconvenience for everyone in the state. Miron estimates that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion dollars a year by reducing the enforcement and incarceration costs. Legalizing marijuana would allow us to use our police force in ways that are much more helpful to the general population than trying to put Michael Phelps in jail. This budget savings would allow many jobs to be saved around the country.
Increased Tax Revenues
If we were to legalize marijuana, we would add significant taxes to any purchase. The cost would be similar to the current cost, however, the profit would be going to the government in the form of tax revenue instead of to drug dealers. Miron put the estimate at around $6.2 billion dollars. Remember those budget problems I was talking about, this would be a nice windfall that could help save / create more even more jobs. Making marijuana legal would also reduce drug related crime and keep our youth doing legal work instead of being enticed by the huge amounts of money that is made selling drugs.
Marijuana is Safer than Alcohol and Tobacco
Medical experts say that marijuana use is generally safer and less addictive than other legal drugs.
“Is marijuana safer [than alcohol]? The short answer is ‘yes,’” said Dr. Mitch Earleywine, a University of Southern California psychologist who is the author of “Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence” and the just published “Mind-Altering Drugs: The Science of Subjective Experience.” The evidence is clear, he told DRCNet. “Cannabis has no lethal dose, so you can’t die from it. The impact on the brain structure for cannabis is nil, but there can be very serious brain function changes with alcohol abuse. Also, more dramatic liver functions are impaired with alcohol. Malnutrition, B-vitamin deficiency, and Korsakoff’s Disorder are all linked to alcohol, but not cannabis.”
I am certainly not advocating the use of marijuana. I don’t and have never used it. I also don’t drink or smoke. That isn’t the point. The point is that the health effects are similar or less than other legal drugs. It just doesn’t make sense for marijuana to be illegal while alcohol and tobacco are not.
Learn from History, Prohibition Failed
Prohibition was a very interesting social experiment in the United States. It made alcohol illegal. It did not however remove alcohol from America. What it did was make people drink things that were much worse for them. It also made organized crime a lot of money. Does this sound familiar? Marijuana is pretty easily found in the United States right now even though it is illegal, but who knows what else it contains. Drug dealers are getting rich and not paying taxes just like the organized crime did during Prohibition. We could help fix that with the fair tax, but it makes more sense to just take away their illegal income. We have to start learning from history. Prohibition of alcohol was a failure, prohibition of marijuana isn’t working very well either.
Legalize Marijuana, Solve the Budget Problem
Right now we are in a recession. Unemployment is higher than anyone would like it to be. President Obama just signed an almost $800 billion stimulus package into law trying save jobs. We should legalize marijuana and help out some of the many states that are currently having serious budget problems. It would certainly help a lot to have more money coming in and less going out.
If you liked this article and are interested in reading more like it you can subscribe to our rss feed for free updates.